An Ocean Full Of Fish – Dating

Matt Hosgood
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I have a love/hate relationship with dating. I love the confidence boost and the excitement that it can give you when you find a person who is interested, but the stress and the waiting and the nervous awkward tension? That bit I hate. I think everyone has their own opinions on dating and, of course, their own tips and tricks to having the best possible time when you’re on a date, but I’m not going to give you advice. That’s what our resident Agony Aunts are for. I’m going to give you my experience of dating, along with some anecdotes from along the way.

I believe actually finding a date is the most difficult part of the whole process. I find it nerve-wracking and embarrassing. I have never given a guy my phone number without the protective shield of the internet in my entire life, but then maybe I just need to man up and earn myself some man points by having the confidence to just take the plunge?

I think the internet – as wonderful and powerful as it is – has become a hiding place for people when it comes to dating. What we seem to be forgetting is that the internet has an unfortunate side effect – misrepresentation. How many times have you been disappointed as soon as you turn up on a date, simply because the guy (or girl) you were meeting up with, wasn’t how you thought  he (or she) would be? I can whole-heartedly say that I have. But have you ever thought that perhaps the same thing was felt by the other party? Can you honestly say you told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God on your profile? And were you being true to yourself in your initial messages to each other?

Either way, you’ve got a date, however you went about doing it. A flirty message on Grindr? Slipping your number onto a napkin somewhere? Or catching someone’s eye from the other side of a club and making your way over with a cheeky smile on your face and getting up close and personal on the dance floor, or whatever the kids call it these days. (And yes I have done that last one). However you got a date. The point is, what do you do with it? First off, what do you wear?! So, top tip time.

DO wear something that expresses your personality. Be honest in who you are and whatever they think doesn’t matter.

DON’T wear light colours, or things that will show stains, sweat marks – and whatever people say, black isn’t slimming. Wear tight clothes if you’ve got the figure. Flatter and conceal your figure in equal measure if you’ve got something you’d like to be discovered in the bedroom later. (Oops, did that slip out?)

If you get nervous, I recommend using Rescue Remedy. As someone who suffers from extreme panic attacks on dates, there are a lot of things I tend to avoid on the first date. And even the second and third sometimes. If you know you have triggers that cause the unwanted traits to come out, try your best to avoid them. Be honest in why, so you don’t have to make up some cover story on the spot for why you’re not talking all that much and your breathing just became a whole lot heavier. Explaining that you’re on the verge of throwing up and you’re trying desperately hard to suppress your gag reflex really isn’t that attractive.

While you’re on the date, however, remember to smile. The whole thing is like a performance and, as honest as you might be, what you have to remember is that you’re being judged and scrutinised the whole time. And don’t deny it; you’re doing exactly the same thing. And there’s nothing more attractive than a smile. If you look miserable, your date will think you’re not having a good time. And even if that’s the case, it’s rude to say so with your face.

Whatever the outcome, remember there are two of you on this date and it’s not just all about one of you. And whether you like them, or not… there’s plenty more fish in the sea. And hey, if I can do it…

About Matt Hosgood

Matt is a Learning Support Assistant from Bristol. He spends his days helping children with learning difficulties and his evenings sorting out his own issues. In his limited spare time, he is the author of “Don’t You Remember” (available on Amazon) and a member of Euphoria Show Choir. Twitter: @DoorMattzInk